By Brian McInnis
What's up everybody,
It was back to a morning session for the Rainbow Warriors today in the Stan Sheriff Center. (The general plan for practices this fall semester: afternoon practices on Monday-Wednesday-Friday and morning practices on Tuesday-Thursday.)
Turnovers, not surprisingly, go along with what the team does at this early stage as the players try to learn new sets in the halfcourt and, as a byproduct, aren't always in the right spots at the right times.
Today, those giveaways were the primary source of Gib Arnold's ire. He repeatedly asked volunteer manager/coach Nick Milan (who keeps individual player stats every day) what the team turnover count was during the session. The response would, without fail, cause Arnold to shake his head.
His message, translated for public consumption: take care of the rock.
If a turnover epidemic lingers with a team, it can undermine an entire season (for reference, recall last year's 10-20 UH squad under Bob Nash, which averaged 14.3 of them per game).
"Our defense is farther along than our offense, so it doesn't always run smoothly," Arnold said after practice. "We just gotta keep getting better, we just gotta keep taking small steps forward. ... You gotta value the ball. It's something that I can see right now looks like one of our weaknesses. Our turnover-to-assist ratio. That has a lot to do with the time of the year, the timing of your offense. And usually the defense knows the play. Even with that said, there's two or three things that you just can't do. Occasionally, we've been repeating them and repeating them to where it becomes a problem. So, that's something as a staff we're going to key on and limit those as much as possible, especially in this early season.
"Hopefully we can be a very fundamentally sound offensive team."
On the bright side: point guards Hiram Thompson and Anthony Salter posted three-to-one assist-to-turnover ratios today.
"We have to take care of the ball, and the offense is new to everyone," Salter said. "We getting a little better with it, there's going to be times where we have turnovers, but (Arnold)'s just trying to limit the turnovers. We going to turn it over to ourselves in practice, being that we know the set and things like that. When it come to game time, there shouldn't be as many turnovers. We just gotta execute the plays."
Harvard-Westlake School (Calif.) forward Damiene Cain, a highly touted UH recruit who had his official visit postponed last weekend, is now slated to visit in early November. He's set to take a visit to Colorado between then and now.
Ronnie Stevens, a power forward out of Serra High in Gardena, Calif., is set to take a visit to Cal State Northridge this weekend. He visited UH last weekend but couldn't enjoy much of the trip as he was ill during the UH Ohana Hoopfest.
Before I forget, I wanted to include an item on a local 'Bow from the last three seasons, Beau Albrechtson.
Beau, a former walk-on under Nash, met with Arnold before fall workouts and told the new coach he decided to focus on his schoolwork at UH. The Kaimuki grad made it a point to thank the fans and boosters for their support over the last few seasons.
Albrechtson is a busy guy. He's also trying to become a firefighter and has a band, Local Uprising, that performs gigs every couple of weeks. Best of luck to him.